After the release of Seasons End
, Marillion had not only found a new vocalist, but were discovering a new sound. Whether this new sound is defined as mainstream, sentimental or musical development, it was known as an advance for both Marillion and progressive music altogether. The follow-up for the aforementioned album would be Holidays in Eden
and a host of relatively successful singles. Those who have purchased Holidays…
have confessed to falling in love with the host of ballads, hard driven rock songs and experimental tracks, even if it took them five years to do so.
Once Splintering Heart
begins, the signs of Marillion throwing back their prog rock attitude were seemingly omitted, it's got the same hard edge rock that they have always had for the past nine years. It would take a keen eye to notice that anything in this band had changed at all until Cover my Eyes
. Not that it's just another poor ballad aimed for commercial stardom, but that it's a ballad that Marillion could have debuted with and still uphold their credibility through. Cover my Eyes
should be heard, even if it remains the only progressive song you'll ever hear. It has a special and unique charm.
The more that you listen to Holidays in Eden
, the more you grow to love it. No one Can
and Cover my Eyes
are filled with emotive vocals and Rothery's trademark solos are prevalent throughout.
The title-track is a particularly rock based song with a bass-line intro, explosive chorus and a great sense of development within the song writing. Followed up by Dry Land
with some of the most impressive vocals I've ever heard, especially within the chorus. It isn't until Waiting to Happen
that the fiery and moody numbers from Holidays in Eden
start to cause a form of tedium in Marillion's new voice. It seemed fairly obvious from the get-go of this acoustic number that the expansive sound may have been lost in production.
A propulsion of drumming turns the entire album around and a history of influential rock may have been written while driving the Nevada desert. This is followed up by the two minute sentimental refrain. Next to This Town
, a form of schizophrenia emerges through a driving rock song to the final two ballads of the day. Before you even realise those two minutes are up, 100 Nights
, a more full and epic ballad gives the final word on who Marillion have now grown up to be. It ends with the bass plucking the final notes. It becomes harder to criticize an album like this after hearing it so many times.
The relatively radio-friendly prog rock band known as Marillion have dived into many forms of rock, progression and even pop, but an album as distinct and special as this deserves a play once every decade or so. It wouldn't make for the best beginner's choice, but you could do a lot worse and it's nice to see where they went after Seasons End
and even more interesting to see where they moved on to after this.
: Cover my Eyes (Pain and Heaven)
, Dry Land
, This Town